Monday, January 31, 2011

Book Trailers - Why?

I have a confession to make. I’d never watched a book trailer until today. I’ve not really understood the excitement over book trailers, but I decided I needed to see for myself. So, I watched several random book trailers of books I had read, and some I had not read. Book trailers aren’t my thing. To me, when I read a book, the descriptions that I read are what paint a picture in my head of the setting, characters, and events in the story. Painting this picture is a big part of what makes reading so enjoyable. I don’t like going into a book with a preconceived picture in my head of what the characters look like. Or the house, or the forest, or whatever. I know that sometimes a setting is familiar – a place I’ve been or something, and that’s OK. It just helps me re-live my visit to that place. But I much prefer to not have pictures in my brain of the elements of the book before I read it.

This is also the reason I don’t watch the movie before I read the book.  I don’t like to picture the scenes from the movie when I’m reading. I like to draw those pictures myself.

For example, every time I read an Alex Cross (James Patterson) novel, I picture Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross because Morgan Freeman played this character in a couple of movies. Kiss the Girls (the movie) was created 14 years ago, and Morgan Freeman was older than the character was then, so he’s really old now (sorry, I love this actor, but he is aging just like the rest of us.) Now they say Idris Elba is going to play Alex Cross for the next movie. I don’t know if my brain can handle that. I want to figure out what James Patterson wanted Alex Cross to look like—to late for that, in this case.

Another thing I noticed is that some trailers tell me pretty much the entire story of the book.  Why read it? I’m very careful about reading summaries on blog posts, whether written by the blog author or from someplace like Goodreads. I just think many times they give away too much of the plot. I just basically want to know “it’s about angels and there’s some romance,” or, “It’s a funny, cute, light hearted book about coming of age.”  And then, I want to read the parts of the review about what was liked or not liked. 

For me, if it’s a movie, I want to watch the trailer. If it’s a book, I want to read the flap and hopefully read some reviews. Why do you watch book trailers? What am I missing?

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2011 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 30, 2011

In My Mailbox - Don't forget to Enter my Big Thank You Giveaway!

OK, this week was kind of slow, book-wise. But here's what's new for me:

That's right, I've not read the last two books in the Hunger Games trilogy, so I've decided to read Catching Fire-checked out from the library.

And, from the author (through Smashwords) Dead Man's Eye, by Shaun Jeffrey

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted at The Story Siren. Go check it out ... and happy reading!

Also, there are only a few more days to enter my Big Thank You Giveaway!

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2011 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Book Review: Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

Water Wars is a rip-roaring, fast-paced, dystopian adventure that many teens will love. The world is suffering from a water shortage, and because of this, has become a very unfriendly place.  Different areas of the United States have become separate states and keep what little water they have to themselves.  The environment is in a shambles – the entire world seems to be a desert. There are no lakes or rivers. Water is rationed. There are no showers or baths, no swimming, no fountains, no clothes washers. Just imagine all the places we see or use water, and then imagine all of those things are nonexistent.

Our main character, Vera, meets an interesting boy, Kai at her bus stop.  Kai doesn’t go to school. His father is a driller – a person who drills for water, so he is very wealthy and also always in fear for his life. Kai is escorted by body guards most of the time (although they are conveniently absent during certain parts of the book.) Vera and Kai begin a secret and somewhat romantic relationship.

When Kai doesn’t show up to meet Vera one day, she and her brother, Will, decide to sneak into his house (in a wealthier, guarded part of town) and find his dead body guard and no sign of Kai or his father.
From then on, the adventure begins.  And it doesn’t stop. Will and Vera run into one near-death situation after another, and are assisted by many colorful characters along the way.  So, if you like fast-paced adventures, you will not be disappointed here.

The problem is that some of the situations are a bit unrealistic. First of all, Will and Very make extremely stupid decisions regarding their attempt to rescue Kai. They are doomed to failure, and even a young teen reader will realize this.  But I guess that’s part of the fun – they do this even though all odds are against them.  I liked the unusual people that turn up to assist the duo, but find it hard to believe that so many last minute, just in the nick of time rescues occurred.

The story line in this dystopian is probably the most plausible of any I’ve read, and that makes it a bit scarier. Stracher gets a message across about how we need to be careful how we are treating our planet and our natural resources, or we may find ourselves in the same situation, but it’s not heavy or annoying.
I think younger teens will like Water Wars for the adventure and suspense factor, but more sophisticated readers may need a more plausible outcome.

Published by Sourcebooks Fire, January 2011
Copy purchased for my Kindle
256 pages

Rating: 2.5/5

Don't forget to check out my "Big Thank You Giveaway!"

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2011 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's Finally Friday - Time for Hopping and Following

Follow Friday (at Parajunkee's View) asks this week:

What is/was your favorite subject in school?

Well, this is probably an unusual answer, but I guess it was math.  I taught high school math for nine years before I became a librarian!

  The subject over at Crazy-For-Books this week is:

 "What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011?  Why are you anticipating that book?"

This isn't really my "thing." I usually have so many books I want to read, that I can wait patiently for the new ones to come out.  But I know I want to read:

Wither, by Lauren DeStefano

Forever, by Maggie Stiefvater

Where She Went, by  Gayle Forman

Thanks for stopping by!  I'll be waiting for your answers .....

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2011 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Book Review: Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert

The impact of this book was so totally unexpected.  I thought Eat, Pray, Love was this girly book about some woman who got a divorce and traveled the world to “find herself.”  It was so much more than that. I’m really leery of memoirs. There aren’t many that I’ve liked, and most I haven’t been able to finish.  I just can’t read 300 pages about “this is what happened to me and you should think it’s really exciting and important.”  I’m a hard sell.  So when my daughter told me to read this, I put it off for a while. This book left me speechless. But I’m going to write this anyway.

First of all, Elizabeth Gilbert is a genius.  You can tell from the way she writes that she is very intelligent and insightful.  The descriptions, the metaphors, the turns of phrase are captivating.  This is a book to savor.  There were sentences and paragraphs that I read over and over.  And, you have to understand that I read FAST and sometimes skip the lengthy, boring descriptions, so this was an entirely new reading experience for me.

So yes, she is suffering through a divorce, and depression associated with her life. She is the definition of miserable, and even contemplates harming herself.  She decides to take a year to travel to three different places, for three different reasons.  Now, she’s traveled a lot, been a successful writer, and got a publisher to underwrite her trip so she could write this book.  But trust me—that doesn’t matter.

I usually don’t give much of a summary.  After all, you are supposed to read this book, and I don’t want to tell you the story.  So I’ll try to be brief-but I’ve got to convince you.

I’ve been to Rome and Venice, so her descriptions were wonderful – put me right back there. Italy is about her pursuit of pleasure – and she has a wonderful time, literally eating her way through that country and trying to learn the language. She begins to heal, but still has a lot to discover after four months in this country.

She wants to go to India to live in an Ashram run by a Guru that one of her friends introduced her to back in New York.  This is about her pursuit of devotion.  I couldn’t believe how spiritual, but not preachy, this book is.  I had hoped this would be a tour of the neat places in India, but it was about her journey to God, and it was warm and touching to read.  And it helps that the Ashram is full of very colorful, unique people.  I can always read about the country, India, in another book.

Bali (in Indonesia) is her quest for balance.  She had met a medicine man in Bali on a previous trip, and he asked her to return.  She meets wonderful friends and truly discovers happiness in many different aspects of her life here.

I haven’t seen this movie yet (thank goodness).  I don’t think there’s any way it can convey even a small part of what is in this book.  I’m going to give it a try, though.

You have to read this.  I can’t describe it for you, because I don’t write like Elizabeth Gilbert! After I finished this book I wanted to shout, “THIS IS WHY I LOVE BOOKS!!!”

As a note, the “Pray” on the cover is written with a japa mala, which she explains in the introduction of the book.  I counted – there are 109 beads.

Published by Penguin in 2006
Copy purchased
331 Pages
Rating: 5/5

What books have made you scream, "THIS IS WHY I LOVE BOOKS!"? 

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2011 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Big Thank You! Book Giveaway

I just wanted to say thanks to all my followers by hosting a giveaway.  I’ll be giving away two books, to two winners.  Being a follower is not required, but I would ask that you at least take a look at my blog if you aren’t a follower, and see if it’s something you would be interested in following.

Here’s what’s up for the giveaway:

XVI, by Julia Karr, paperback.

From the publisher:

Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world - even the most predatory of men - that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina's mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past - one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother's killer.

I haven’t even read this one yet! But I’ve read so much about it that I can’t wait! I’m going to buy myself a copy too.

So Much Closer, by Susanne  Colasanti. This is an ARC of a book that will be released in May, 2011.

Click on the title to see my review.

From the publisher:

When Brooke's crush, Scott, moves from their suburban town to New York City, she decides to follow him there. Living with her formerly estranged dad and adapting to a new school are challenging, and things go from bad to worse when Brooke learns that Scott already has a girlfriend. But as she builds her new life, Brooke begins to discover a side of herself she never knew existed. And as she finds out, in the city that never sleeps, love can appear around any corner...

To enter, fill out the form. You must have a United States mailing address (sorry) and be at least 13 years old to enter.  Entries will be accepted until January 31 at midnight, central time.  Good luck!

Back to Annette's Book Spot Homepage Copyright © 2011 Annette's Book Spot. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, January 22, 2011

In My Mailbox - A Wide Variety!

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, so please go and check out all the other IMM posts!

This week, in “our” mailbox, we got two books that I bought for my husband for his birthday – both that I saw somewhere in the blogosphere and thought he would like – they are both short story collections.

I’ll probably read the Stephen King, but I don’t know about the other one.  It’s hard Sci-Fi, so I might just read a couple of the stories that he recommends.

From the library:

From Amazon for my Kindle:

From the Author (also for my Kindle):

So, it was a great week for me, bookwise. Although I requested a book from NetGalley and was approved, but couldn’t download it to my Kindle. I thought they had reinstated this feature, but apparently it’s gone again.  Urgghhhhh!

What was in your mailbox this week?


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